Good afternoon, Coaches. We hope you’ve recovered from your Super Bowl parties. Here are three stories we’re talking about today.
1. Bill Belichick and Patriots players explain Super Bowl 53 game plan (For the Win)
We all saw Jared Goff and the Rams offense struggle last night to the tune of 3 total points and 260 yards offense. Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his coaching staff put together a masterpiece of a gameplan to help bring a sixth Lombardi Trophy back to Foxborough.
The Patriots’ gameplan started with stopping the Rams rushing attack. Belichick and his staff felt the Rams’ ability to break the big play stemmed from the threat of the run.
“Obviously [we wanted to stop] [C.J.] Anderson and [Todd] Gurley in the running game …” said Belichick. “We just felt like we had to put something together that would neutralize the running game and their big-play play-action passes on early downs. That’s really where they’ve killed people all year, is the 120-something explosive plays they’ve had.”
The Patriots also decided to switch their coverage from man, which they ran most of the year, to zone. Safety Devin McCourty explains the reason.
“This was probably the most zone we played in a game all year, honestly,” McCourty said. “Up front, those guys did a five-man rush, four-man rush, that was all these guys. I would say throughout playoffs they’ve made it tough for the offensive line and the quarterbacks to know what we’re in and know how to block it up. That’s credit to the big guys. And then I think we’ve done a good job of just meshing rush and coverage.”
Coaches — How do you structure a practice so that your team has the ability to run multiple schemes depending on your opponent?
2. The four-play sequence where the Patriots cracked the Rams’ D (FLM)
This story is loaded with video of turning points in the game. But no drive was more instrumental to the outcome than this Patriots touchdown drive.
The four-play sequence where the Patriots cracked the Rams' D:
First, great design off play-action out of 21 personnel frees Gronk for 18.
Then three calls in a row of Hoss Y Juke out of 22 personnel and an empty formation. Simple reads, wide open targets, too fast for pressure pic.twitter.com/iZMXpj2qnT
— David DeChant (@DavidDeChant) February 4, 2019
What defensive look would inspire you to have your offense line up in 21 personnel?
3. Tom Brady considered transferring in college but instead accepted the challenge of getting better and becoming the starter (News Times)
This is a story for high school coaches to save when it’s time to name the starters and set the depth chart in the fall. Just because a player is not a starter for Week 1 does not mean he can’t fight for a job in-season.
And the best response to being overlooked for a starting job is hard work and determination. Who is the best example of this? Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.
“He briefly thought of leaving Michigan and transferring to Cal, the school most people expected him to attend after high school. But the challenge, or the need, of getting to the top of that depth chart was far greater than the urge to go back home and play. People were too caught up in appearances. They didn’t understand that this place, the anti-California, was home now. He was going to play at Michigan. It was another competition, climbing that chart, and thus another opportunity for him to get a win. All he had to do was make everyone see it and get it.”
How do you provide a positive spin while telling a player he will not be a starter for Week 1?
What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!